Lessons Learned From My Second Half Marathon

Monday, November 25, 2013

Yesterday I completed my second half marathon. Barely. 

Though I was in great spirits when I crossed the finish line, my body was not in the same good mood. Around mile 11 I hit a wall. My muscles were aching like never before. I started to wonder if I'd even be able to complete the race. But I did. 

And my sweet husband was waiting for me at the finish line (in the cold) with flowers!

I wouldn't say I had a bad race yesterday. Just as I say that when it comes to traveling any plane landing you walk away from is a good one, I also believe that if you cross the finish line and you're not in the back of an ambulance, you've had a good race. Still my race could have been better. 

I wish I could have enjoyed my race more. I wish I would have felt stronger. And I think I would have if I had stuck to the plan. 

When I started training for this half marathon three months ago my plan was to walk this race for two reasons: 1) I was planning to do the race with my cousin/BFF who isn't a fan of running and 2) I was worried my joints wouldn't be able to handle the impact of running. 

Then my cousin broke her ankle. I thought about not doing the race at all after I lost my road dawg, especially after my connective tissue disease started to flare up like a brat begging for attention. 

But then I decided not only would I do the race but I'd also run parts of it too!

Bad idea.

During the bulk of my training I was only walking. Sure, it was very fast paced race walking. In fact, I had reached the point to where I could almost walk as fast as I run. But still, my training focused on walking. Thus my body was not prepared for long stretches of running.  I honestly believe that if I had just stuck to that fast paced walking for the entire race I would have finished in the same amount of time and felt great at the end. 

But I didn't stick to the plan. 

I didn't stick to the plan because I got distracted. I got distracted by a silly need to call myself a runner.  I got distracted by my fear of being the last person to finish the race (even though I had already told myself I didn't care when I finished). I got distracted and forgot the importance of moving at my own pace. 

And I've realized I make similar mistakes in my writing career too. I will set a goal and develop a plan for achieving it but I often fail to stay the course because I'm so worried about what the people around me are doing. 

This race has taught me a valuable lesson. The end of the year is approaching, which means I've already started drafting my list of aspirations for 2014. For each major goal I'm also going to draft a plan for bringing these dreams to fruition. And I'm going to stick with this plan even if the people around me seem to have discovered some quick and easy path to success. 

I will stick to the plan and remember that slow and steady wins the race. 


  1. I understand completely. Know that you are not alone. You look great too!

  2. Great lesson! I've been there too.

  3. Love this! So very proud of you for finishing the race even though it was unbearable. You are my hero. I am the same way. Did you get to go to the Goal Setting workshop at the conference? Great tools there for making goals manageable. I need to use it more - it's awesome. Let me know if you need the handouts or any help. I need to do the same thing - we can do it together! :)